Do you have to jiggle your key to get it to work?
Or pull it slightly out of the lock before it will turn? Do you have a spare key for your home in the event that you’re locked out?
It may be time to get a duplicate key made. Keys are typically made of brass or a nickel-brass mixture, and the pins in a lock are also made of brass. Over years of use, keys and pins do wear down. In addition, it’s important to have spare keys around (perhaps left with a trusted family member, friend, or neighbor) in case you’re ever locked out or need a friend or family member to get into your home for some reason.
How are keys made?
Keys are cut with a machine called a key duplicator. Your original key is placed in a vice on one side of the key duplicator, lined up with the cutting tool (or blade), and a blank key is placed in a vice on the side of the machine that contains the alignment tool. The alignment tool is a piece of metal that is even with the blade. The key guide, or alignment bar, on your key duplicator, ensures the keys are even with one another.
The key duplicator is then turned on, and as the original and blank keys move horizontally across the machine, the blade cuts into the blank key, using the original as a sort of template. Afterward, the lock tech will sand the duplicate key for a smooth finish. The final product is a duplicate key that matches the original.
Don’t make a copy of a copy of a copy.
How accurate is the key that needs to be copied? When keys are worn down, they should be decoded before copies are cut. The key gauge shown in the center right-hand photo was used to determine the depths of the original cuts. In general, however, one should not make a duplicate key without the original on hand.
How long does it take to cut a key?
A professional locksmith can accurately duplicate a standard key in just a few minutes. Duplicating a more complicated key can take up to 25 minutes. How long it takes to get a key copied could depend on where you go to get your key copied.
Can I duplicate skeleton keys?
Perhaps you collect antique skeleton keys, or you live in an old home with interior locks that still use skeleton keys. If so, a professional locksmith can create duplicates of your skeleton keys.
What are jiggle keys?
Jiggle keys are keys that come in a range of groove patterns and are used to attempt to open a lock in absence of the correct key for that lock. Termed “jiggle keys” because they typically require some jiggling around to successfully open the lock, these tricky keys are often used to pick locks. Also called “bump keys,” jiggle keys should not be used by the average person as an alternative to having a spare. It’s best to visit a professional and have duplicates made of all your important keys.
A1 Lock and Safe
Whether you need a replacement key or you need to change your locks, be sure to visit A1 Lock and Safe to see how we can help you protect your home. Notably, we sell safes where you can store firearms and your most prized possessions in the event that you are robbed. Thankfully, A1 Lock and Safe specializes in changing locks, making duplicate keys, and more for your safety. If you so much as suspect that someone could break into your home or office because your locks are faulty, let our Durham locksmiths know and we will replace your keys and locks for an affordable price. Contact us today to get started!